Sentence or Journey?

As you know, I have been dealing with RA for 39 years – as I look back over those years, I realize there is a difference from Day 1 to today.  For so long I have felt I was  suddenly sentenced to deal with RA with no hope in sight of an end.  I would look at others dealing with a broken bone, surgery, illness, etc. and think – They have a limited length of time to deal with it, that after certain stages are accomplished it will be finished.  Knowing there is a time limit seemed to be a lot easier to work with than to feel there is no limit.  There didn’t seem to be any hope of a suspended sentence, time off for good behavior or maybe even a pardon.  Not only that, it wasn’t going to kill me, just make my life miserable for years on end.  (I apologize for whingeing when I promised this blog wouldn’t be that way).  Essentially it was a bad, long term case of “oh-poor-me-osis – I am the worst off person in the world, no one has as badly as I do.

I realize now that was Ego, my false self, being in charge and the worse it was the happier she was.  She revels in the negative, the scary, everything with fear.  The worst part was that I thought that was me and I wasn’t happy about that.  People would tell me how positive an attitude I had – I kept thinking, “You have no idea the bitch who lives inside me and whinges all the time”.  I would feel so sorry for myself, why did I have to be drag may ass tired all the time, hurt from head to toe, take all those drugs and be on the business end of a needle.  Why can’t I have energy and flexibility like everyone else and have fun and do what I want, when I want, how I want?  All I could see was what I couldn’t do, couldn’t be.  I realized I was fighting it, that RA and my body were the enemy that I didn’t have any defense against.  I often felt hopeless and helpless, while at other times I felt useless.

I don’t know when I began to think there might be a different way to look at it because there was no big “Aha” moment.  I found different books to read, some people recommended, some I found myself and some I stumbled across in looking for something else.  I read the first volume of “conversations With God” and one line in it kept bugging me because I couldn’t visualize it or clearly understand – “What you resist, persists.”  I read it 2 or 3 times, then went on to Volume 2, then Volume 3 and to a couple of other books he wrote.  I didn’t really understand it, but it was a different way at looking at life, myself and God.

When I started reading Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth”, the business with ego and false self took awhile to understand, even then as now, I still am working on it.  Another book I read was “Radical Forgiveness” by Colin Tipping – his view of things in one’s life was very different from what I had been thinking and feeling.  The idea that people and situations that come up in one’s life  could be a soul contract with another’s soul to resolve the situation, especially an ongoing one.  That is still a little unclear for me but I am now “willing to be willing” to explore it and understand it better rather than dismissing it out of hand.

And of course, Dr. Phil.  As much as I want to ignore some of his questions, I know they are true.  When I am in a situation and certain I am right, his question “How’s that working for you?” comes up and I have to admit it isn’t working.  He also says “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge”.  How often have I been so not ready to see what my part is in the situation.  The one that sometimes really gets me is “You teach people how to treat you”.  I would much rather see myself as being put upon, a victim of someone being mean to me rather than acknowledging I am part of the problem.  Ego wants me to keep seeing myself as a victim, it is part of her power and hold over me.  Thanks to Eckhart Tolle, I am now a lot more aware and working on putting her out of business.

I’m not sure at the moment where the idea of a gift in RA came from or when, it has been growing slowly in my mind and doesn’t seem so weird and far fetched any more.  One of the affirmations I have been using is “I am willing to know the truth about myself”.  I have always been scared to know because I was sure it was horrible and ugly.  But as I told my sister this morning, I am beginning to see myself as a nice person.  I am working on loving myself, not in conceit or superiority, but loving, accepting, approving and trusting myself – I want to know who I truly am.

Now I realize I have been on a journey and my life experiences and the people in them were and are there because they can teach me about parts of myself and learn to know myself from the inside.  One thing about getting older is that a lot of the stuff that seemed so important really isn’t.  I am less concerned about what people think and more interested in what is true for me and trusting the Universe takes care of me.

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